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Yee Says Death Threats Won't Deter His Gun Control Efforts

The local state senator's life was threatened recently, and homemade explosives and a loaded firearm were found in the suspect's home this week.

Yee Says Death Threats Won't Deter His Gun Control Efforts

REDWOOD CITY, CA -- State Sen. Leland Yee said Thursday that a death threat against him that led to the arrest of a Santa Clara County man will not deter him from moving forward with gun control proposals in the Legislature.

At a news conference at the State Building in San Francisco Thursday morning, Yee said the incident "only further demonstrates the need to address this particular problem."

Yee joined other state senators last week to propose a package of bills aimed at reducing gun violence in California. One bill introduced by Yee would require assault weapons to have a 10-round limit and to only have fixed magazines that must be reloaded one-by-one from the top of the weapon.

The California Highway Patrol Thursday gave more information about Everett Basham, 45, the man arrested Tuesday on suspicion of making the threat against Yee.

Yee received the threat by e-mail about four weeks ago, and said the "very explicit threat on his life" had "deeply concerned him."

"The author of the e-mail specifically stated that if I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence, that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol," Yee said. "He stated that he was a trained sniper, and his e-mail detailed certain weapons he possessed."

"This threat was unlike any other I had ever received," he continued. "It was not a racist rant on my ethnicity or culture, but instead it was very deliberate and specific. As a psychologist, I was deeply concerned by the calculating nature of the e-mail."

Investigators eventually tracked it to Basham and served a search warrant at his home in Santa Clara on Tuesday, according to Scott MacGregor, chief of the CHP's Protective Services Division.

Inside the home, located at 3131 Humboldt Ave., authorities found explosive materials and multiple firearms, MacGregor said.

Basham was arrested in Sunnyvale and remains in custody on suspicion of threatening a public official and various crimes related to the explosives and firearms, MacGregor said. No charges have been filed against him yet, a district attorney's office spokesman said this morning.

CHP officials have had to detonate some of the materials found at the home on Humboldt Avenue, and MacGregor said authorities remain at the scene today. He said the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are among the federal agencies assisting in the investigation.

Yee issued a statement Thursday indicating he has no plans to curtail his legislative efforts toward attempting to curb gun violence.

"I want to make it crystal clear – these threats and any others will not deter me and my colleagues from addressing the critical issues surrounding gun violence," he said. "This case is very troubling, and only further demonstrates the need to address this epidemic."

Yee's latest push for additional gun control measures comes in the wake of the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. in December.

President Barack Obama is also pushing for new gun control laws on the federal level, including implementing universal background checks and banning military-style assault weapons.

Yee represents California's 8th state senate district, which includes San Francisco and most of San Mateo County, including Woodside.

- Bay City News Service contributed to this report


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